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Sustainability ; 14(18):11281, 2022.
Article in English | MDPI | ID: covidwho-2010290


Plastic barriers physically separate queuing passengers in airport security check areas as a measure against aerosol transmission. However, this may create 'canyons';that interfere with the existing ventilation design: potentially inhibiting airflow, concentrating exhaled viruses, and exacerbating aerosol transmission risk. Accordingly, this study investigated the transmission implications of installing plastic barriers in a security check area with computational fluid dynamics (CFD). Two air distribution schemes were modeled: one with linear air supply diffusers aligned vertically to (Case 1) and another with diffusers parallel with (Case 2) the orientation of partitions. The drift-flux model was used to calculate the spread of viral bioaerosols with 5 µm in diameter;then the Wells–Riley equation was applied to assess aerosol transmission risk for SARS-CoV-2. According to simulation results, in Case 1, installing plastic barriers resulted in relatively small changes in volume with a high infection risk of 1% or greater in the breathing zone within the first 25 min. However, in Case 2, using plastic barriers resulted in the continuous increase in this volume within the first 25 min while this volume was near zero if without plastic barriers. In conclusion, installing plastic barriers needs careful consideration because they do not reduce the risk of airborne SARS-CoV-2 transmission and might even exacerbate it without localized ventilation and air cleaning.

Build Environ ; 224: 109530, 2022 Oct.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-2003904


This study used Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) to investigate air disinfection for SARS-CoV-2 by the Upper-Room Germicidal Ultraviolet (UR-GUV), with focus on ceiling impact. The study includes three indoor settings, i.e., low (airport bus), medium (classroom) and high (rehearsal room) ceilings, which were ventilated with 100% clean air (CA case), 80% air-recirculation with a low filtration (LF case), and 80% air-recirculation with a high filtration (HF case). According to the results, using UR-GUV can offset the increased infection risk caused by air recirculation, with viral concentrations in near field (NF) and far field (FF) in the LF case similar to those in the CA case. In the CA case, fraction remaining (FR) was 0.48-0.73 with 25% occupancy rate (OR) and 0.49-0.91 with 45% OR in the bus, 0.41 in NF and 0.11 in FF in the classroom, and 0.18 in NF and 0.09 in FF in the rehearsal room. Obviously, UR-GUV performance in NF can be improved in a room with a high ceiling where FR has a power relationship with UV zone height. As using UR-GUV can only extend the exposure time to get infection risk of 1% (T 1% ) to 8 min in NF in the classroom, and 47 min in NF in the rehearsal room, it is necessary to abide by social distancing in the two rooms. In addition, T 1% in FF was calculated to be 18.3 min with 25% OR and 21.4% with 45% OR in the airport bus, showing the necessity to further wear a mask.

Indoor Air ; 32(6): e13064, 2022 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1909399


The exhalation of aerosols during musical performances or rehearsals posed a risk of airborne virus transmission in the COVID-19 pandemic. Previous research studied aerosol plumes by only focusing on one risk factor, either the source strength or convective transport capability. Furthermore, the source strength was characterized by the aerosol concentration and ignored the airflow rate needed for risk analysis in actual musical performances. This study characterizes aerosol plumes that account for both the source strength and convective transport capability by conducting experiments with 18 human subjects. The source strength was characterized by the source aerosol emission rate, defined as the source aerosol concentration multiplied by the source airflow rate (brass 383 particle/s, singing 408 particle/s, and woodwind 480 particle/s). The convective transport capability was characterized by the plume influence distance, defined as the sum of the horizontal jet length and horizontal instrument length (brass 0.6 m, singing 0.6 m and woodwind 0.8 m). Results indicate that woodwind instruments produced the highest risk with approximately 20% higher source aerosol emission rates and 30% higher plume influence distances compared with the average of the same risk indicators for singing and brass instruments. Interestingly, the clarinet performance produced moderate source aerosol concentrations at the instrument's bell, but had the highest source aerosol emission rates due to high source airflow rates. Flute performance generated plumes with the lowest source aerosol emission rates but the highest plume influence distances due to the highest source airflow rate. Notably, these comprehensive results show that the source airflow is a critical component of the risk of airborne disease transmission. The effectiveness of masking and bell covering in reducing aerosol transmission is due to the mitigation of both source aerosol concentrations and plume influence distances. This study also found a musician who generated approximately five times more source aerosol concentrations than those of the other musicians who played the same instrument. Despite voice and brass instruments producing measurably lower average risk, it is possible to have an individual musician produce aerosol plumes with high source strength, resulting in enhanced transmission risk; however, our sample size was too small to make generalizable conclusions regarding the broad musician population.

Air Pollution, Indoor , COVID-19 , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets , Singing , Aerosols/analysis , Air Pollution, Indoor/analysis , COVID-19/transmission , Humans , Music , Pandemics , Respiratory Aerosols and Droplets/virology
Build Environ ; 219: 109186, 2022 Jul 01.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: covidwho-1850738


Airport transportation vehicles, such as buses, aerotrains, and shuttles, provide important passenger transfer services in airports. This study quantitatively investigated COVID-19 aerosol infection risk and identified acceptable operational conditions, such as passenger occupancy rates and duration of rides, given the performance of vehicle ventilation. The greatest risk to the largest number of passengers is from an index case whose exhaled breath would take the longest time to exit the vehicle. The study identified such a case based on ventilation patterns, and it tracked the spread of viral aerosols (5 µm) by using the Wells-Riley equation to predict aerosol infection risk distribution. These distributions allowed a definition of an imperfect mixing degree (δ) as the ratio of actual risk and the calculated risk under a perfect mixing condition, and further derived regression equations to predict δ in the far-field (FF) and near-field (NF) of each passenger. These results revealed an order of magnitude higher aerosol infection risk in NF than in FF. For example, with a ventilation rate of 58 ACH (air changes per hour) and a 45% occupancy rate, unmasked passengers should stay up to 15 min in the bus and 35 min in the shuttle to limit infection risk in NF within 10%. These also indicate that masking is an important and effective risk reduction measure in transportation vehicles, especially important in NF. Overall, the analysis of imperfect air mixing allows direct comparison of risks in different transportation vehicles and a structured approach to development of policy recommendations.